ABC News and the New York Times yesterday announced a news alliance that will include a daily, 15-minute political Webcast that will appear on both their Internet sites.

Under the deal, Times reporters will also help produce segments on health and technology that will air on "20/20" and "Good Morning America." And Times journalists will appear on various ABC broadcasts to discuss issues in the news.

"We're determined to make sure we have the ability to distribute the New York Times in whatever form journalism is going to be distributed," says Michael Oreskes, the paper's Washington bureau chief. "We want to do it in print, on the Internet and in multimedia formats. All of this is about learning how to do that."

Partnerships between newspapers and networks have become increasingly common in the last two years, including alliances between The Washington Post and MSNBC and the Wall Street Journal and CNBC.

Oreskes and Mark Halperin, ABC's political director, will be among the moderators for the 1:30 p.m. Webcast, which will begin Monday from Iowa, site of that day's presidential caucuses. Such Webcasts will include video, live reports from correspondents and interviews with candidates. The Internet programs and the television segments will have to be approved by both news organizations.

Will Timespersons find the extra work distracting? "We're trying to invent it as we go," Oreskes says. "We're not going to do anything that will interfere with the newspaper."